AP Capstone: AP Seminar


AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.

AP Seminar Course Content

Students engage in conversations about complex academic and real-world issues through a variety of lenses, considering multiple points of view. Teachers have the flexibility to choose one or more appropriate themes that allow for deep interdisciplinary exploration based on:

  • Concepts or issues from other AP courses
  • Student interests
  • Local and/or civic issues
  • Academic problems or questions
  • Global or international topics

Exploring different points of view and making connections across disciplines are fundamental components of the AP Seminar experience. Students consider each topic through a variety of lenses and from multiple perspectives, many of which are divergent or competing. Analyzing topics through multiple lenses aids in interdisciplinary understanding and helps students gain a rich appreciation for the complexity of important issues. Teachers should encourage students to explore a topic through several of the following lenses:

  • Cultural and social
  • Artistic and philosophical
  • Political and historical
  • Environmental
  • Economic
  • Scientific
  • Futuristic
  • Ethical

Pedagogical Framework

Throughout the program, students consider and evaluate multiple points of view to develop their own perspectives on complex issues and topics through inquiry and investigation. The AP Capstone program provides students with a framework that allows them to develop, practice, and hone their critical and creative thinking skills as they make connections between various issues and their own lives.

Students use the following framework as they explore issues and topics:

  • Question and Explore
  • Understand and Analyze Arguments
  • Evaluate Multiple Perspectives
  • Synthesize Ideas
  • Team, Transform, and Transmit

AP Seminar Assessment Structure

Students are assessed with two through-course performance assessment tasks and one end-of-course exam. All three assessments are summative and will be used to calculate a final AP score (using the 1–5 scale) for AP Seminar.

Format of Assessment

  • Team Project and Presentation - 25% of AP Score
  • Individual Research-Based Essay and Presentation - 35% of AP Score
  • End-of-Course Exam (3 Hours) - 40% of AP Score

Full details about the AP Seminar course can be found in this overview provided by the College Board's website.

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